POEM BY JUDITH SKILLMAN

 

 

 

 

 

MONOLOGUE
 


I can live without company but not without
talking to myself. Blame it on the cat
who became a person. No one visits.
Procedures must be followed to a t.
Cooking for one equals tears an onion outlasts.
Perhaps these ministrations become habits.
Nothing new under the sun, all is vanity,
Permission to speak? Ecclesiastes.
 
I could have been more than I am but
things can’t be undone. The accident
happened. One wrong move and still at night
it could happen again. When your back quits
is a matter of time. Be blameless, soft-
toned, don’t froth so at the mouth of it.
 

 

 

 

Judith Skillman ’s new collection is House of Burnt Offerings from Pleasure Boat Studio. Her work has appeared in Tampa Review, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Seneca Review, New Poets of the American West, and other journals and anthologies. Skillman is the recipient of grants from the Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, The Centrum Foundation, and other organizations. She has taught in the field of humanities for twenty-five years, and has collaboratively translated poems from Italian, Portuguese, and French.
 
Visit www.judithskillman.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM BY WILL CORDEIRO

 

 

 

 

 

BRAIN IN A VAT

 

 

The goop of it throws

       sparks; grey areas multiply.

Wink—a lapse of logic  

 

leaps: tangled synapses

       of thought will quicken

in turn this thing about’s

 

about. As if anyone

       could, by sheer force

of reason, reason

 

one’s way free past doubt…

       Hello. This is you. So find 

another glassy truth. Give

 

your token face to its

       reflection back. Believe, less

often, that whatever is

 

is more or less

       unknown. See through

too much in this

 

life & you’ll risk going

       blind. Wear a mask & it

may grow to fit—if

 

the world’s a theatre,

       the mind is, too. A word

refers to a seizure

 

of words & intuition

       feeds on loops to make

you think—think twice

 

whether, when the circuit’s

       broken, any you remains:

like every trick, thin wisp

 

of smoke & oops!

       it’s gone. You’ve failed

to know anything

 

other than illusion. It’s time

       which places its demands

of us & yet what is it but a

 

spell, created by the mind?

       Make time: you’ll drift

through dark & swift. Go

 

tell the maze you’re trapped

        in that it’s all a lark: back-

facing rapture into an abyss.

 

 

 

 

 

Will Cordeiro ’s work appears in Cortland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Fourteen Hills, Harpur Palate, Hawai’i Review, New Walk, Phoebe, and elsewhere. He is grateful for residencies from ART 342, Blue Mountain Center, Ora Lerman Trust, Risley AIR at Cornell University, and Petrified Forest National Park. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is a faculty member in the Honors Program at Northern Arizona University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM BY MICHAEL SPRING

 

 

 

 

 

 

ORIGINS

 

 

In a cave in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi 14 prehistoric paintings

including 12 human hand stencils, two naturalistic animal depictions –

one showing an animal called a babirusa or "pig-deer", and the other

showing a pig – date back to at least 40,000 years ago could be the oldest

known figurative work of art in the world.

                               the study published in Nature, 2014

 

 

pig and pig-deer

these are the images we found

in the Indonesian cave

 

not the wild, wild horses

and not the saber-toothed cave lions

 

and not Sasquatch

or bubble-headed astronauts

 

it’s the pig that accompanies

the prehistoric stains

of human hands

  

and what if we could crawl deeper

into the image?

perhaps we’d find

what the pig digested

or what is behind it

hidden from view

 

perhaps we’d discover

the I am nature source

that lit up the walls

inside Jackson Pollack’s head –

 

a drooling landscape –

an explosion –

the dribble and splatter

of a cosmic nature  

 

 

 

 

Michael Spring is the author of three books and six chapbooks. His most recent chapbook won the 2013 Turtle Island Poetry Award. New work appears in Absinthe Poetry Review, Allegro, Blue Lyra Review, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, and Turtle Island Quarterly. He lives in Oregon, USA.